Saturday, May 2, 2009

5/02/09 A Time for Patience

This first full week after treatments has been one of relief, hope and expectations of change. The radiation is still working throughout my mouth and head and continues to cause a great deal of discomfort. Besides the pain in my throat the most frustrating thing is the mucus that is coating most of my mouth. It has become very difficult to get rid of and is a by product of the tissue being burned from the radiation. Unfortunately the salivary glands are on vacation right now so they are not helping to thin things out. I did go to Clifton Springs three days this week, {I drove my self, thank you very much!} for hydration and that seems to help a bit. I most likely will do three days again this week to try to keep things as hydrated as possible! Swallowing and eating are still not possible so everything is still going thru the Peg tube. I am really missing eating, especially the social aspect and I so look forward to the day when I can once again sit down with my wife and enjoy a good meal together. Change will come, but it will come slowly and I must be patient and allow the change to slowly come to me. I have noticed a few times this week a little pick up in energy but in general terms my energy level is still pretty low but once again it should slowly pick up with time.

The lesson here for me is a life long issue I have always struggled with. Patience! I know that change will come in time and slowly, but I need to be as patient as possible. I am thankful for each day and watch change slowly happen through the miracle of spring. It is so wonderful to see all the flowers, trees and shrubs opening up and showing off their lovely spring coats. Everyday there is something new to celebrate. Just like spring, I look forward to my body becoming stronger and stronger with each passing week and month and my mind accepting the change that may come. And I look forward to working on becoming the most patient person I can possibly be!! I once again thank all of you for your generosity, love, support, and overall kindness. I thank my lucky stars every day for the wonderful support network that has developed. It shows me each day what an amazing circle of friends we all have. You really lift me up when I need it. I look forward to seeing you all at 7:00.


  1. Dan,

    Thank you for posting this "journal" and for sharing your experience, thoughts, and feelings. Your writing is eloquent and inspiring.

    Best wishes as you continue to journey through the healing process. I look forward to meeting you at Cranberry!


  2. Patience is definitely required during recovery from cancer treatment. It's been a life-long challenge for me as well. I did not have the same problems with swallowing, but mealtimes were not enjoyable until weeks after chemo, and I can remember the first time we sat down to dinner and I was able to be present with MaryGail, enjoy the food, and talk about something other than the cancer. It was such a relief for both of us.

    I'm sure Peggy misses the social aspects of dining with you as much as you miss dining with her.

    We think about you all the time, and I look forward to seeing you soon.


  3. Hi Dan and Peggy - Patience is not my strong suit either..... I too am learning lessons of patience from you. Your incredible journal is touching and teaching all of us! Thank you so much for your courage to share with us.

    You're in our thoughts daily. I just can't wait to hear, in the weeks ahead, that you're feeling stronger each day. You've been so brave and strong in spirit..... now it's time to let the healing begin! It will come, soon!

    our love - Karen and Bob McCurdy

  4. It is springtime in the Adirondacks, too, yet despite the warming days, the peaks are still covered with snow. The mountains stand tall, reaching for the sun, and wait patiently for the layers of winter to melt away. They always do, in time, allowing even the most fragile vegetation to emerge and flourish.

    It will be spring again for you, too. Patience means letting the treatment run its course, knowing that the layers of treatment will, in time, also begin to melt away, and your body will begin its journey back to complete health.

    The lessons you are learning are making you stronger, and we are learning these same lessons from you. In the end, we will all come out of this better than before. The future is full with the promise of bright new days.

    Can't wait to see you again!
    Cathy and Ron

  5. Hi Dan and Peggy:

    Glad to hear you're having some energy "surges" -- positive signs of more good things to come. I hope, during one of those surges, you have the energy for a walk to "The Cathedral" and enjoy the trilliums that must be in full blossom these days. It's been a long hard Winter, but Spring has come and will bring beautiful new growth.

    Hand in there, friends!

    - Eric and Joan

  6. Hi Dan & Peggy,
    I continue to marvel at your optimism. I believe that things can only get better from here.
    Hope to see you soon. Keep up the good work!


    Lea Boylan

  7. Thinking bout you both! Continued prayers on this new phase of the journey. Hugs and Blessings! Donna and John

  8. Ah PATIENCE - what a lovely concept - when I'm not in a hurry and don't need it to keep me civil.But sometimes the universe intervenes and says "NOW YOU WILL LEARN PATIENCE!!!" and we skip that class to our own detriment. It's hard for me in spring to take lessons in patience from the garden when it changes hourly. Maybe you can imagine the blossoming rainbow of scents and colors carrying you along the arc of healing to your hoped for dinner with Peggy. Love to both of you!

  9. “Oh time, strength, cash, patience,” Herman Melville famously wrote about the virtues required of the writer, give pride of position to the last. I stumbled across your blog today while looking for information on recovery from Head & Neck radiation, which I completed three weeks ago. Having undergone surgery (a full parodectamy) and radiation at almost exactly the same time as you, I feel that I’ve “met” a fellow-traveller. All healing strength to you!

  10. Hi, Dan & Peggy-
    If there is a thing like a type "A" personallity, I was a "Double A". Until my stroke put a major leash on me 7 years ago. It sure got my attention. Now, my life depends on slowing down.

    Although, a year and a half ago I decided to "retire". Dam, I've never been so busy, as in retirement. But, at least now I'm doing the fun stuff. I had never realized how much "making a living" gets in the way of living.

    Chuck Lochner